Seabed sampling can be carried out using a variety of sampling gear, including Van Veen grab [2], Day and Shipek grabs, and Gilson corer [3].

Using established sub-contractors, AMSL can provide analyses of a wide range of physical and chemical parameters, e.g. granulometry; organic carbon and nitrogen; metals; trace
organics; hydrocarbons; stable isotopes. Seabed still photography and video surveys (above right) provide a rapid and cost-effective assessment of benthic conditions and
community composition.

Statistical analysis of biological community structure. A number of univariate and multivariate statistica lmethods can be used to interpret variability in community structure, and to distinguish effects due to disturbance or pollution. AMSL has specialist expertise in benthic ecology, in habitats ranging from intertidal estuarine mudflats to water depths >1000m.

Sidescan sonar surveys are typically used to locate seabed features and debris. In addition, sidescan can be used for wide area habitat surveys, and to interpret sediment dynamics, e.g. for assessment of the likely movement of particulate contaminants.

The use of sidescan in shallow water is challenging, due to a combination of factors, and AMSL has particular experience in this application [1].

Visual investigations, using divers, camera systems and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) can also be undertaken.

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